The sale of human beings has never been more common in the United States than it is today. Tuesday, a coalition of clergy ran a full-page ad in the New York Times calling on Village Voice Media, owners of Backpage.com to close down their Adult services section. ”Christians everywhere are beginning to realize that this sale of humans in our backyard must be stopped and that we can play a role in its defeat” says Nita Belles, author of the recently published book, In Our Backyard: A Christian Perspective of Human Trafficking in the United States.
Village Voice Media Responded to the clergy with allegations that they had tried to meet with the clergy group unsuccessfully. With an estimated revenue to Village Voice Media of more than two million dollars a month from Backpage.com’s Adult Services section, the speculation is that they will not easily shut down that section.
“Internet Sites such as Backpage.com have become the modern-day slave auctions for selling humans for sex.” Belles says, “A common myth is that human trafficking happens overseas or in large cities, and the victims are foreign born nationals. Human trafficking is happening in every state and every city here in the United States and the majority of domestic minor sex trafficking victims are our American born children. Look hard enough and you will find it in our nation’s small towns and countryside. It is everywhere.”
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